Peter Michael Weiss, age 69, of Auburn, Alabama, passed away peacefully early Monday morning, November 25, 2019, at Bethany House. Born in Decorah, Iowa, as one of six children of William John Weiss, Sr., and Marjorie Elyce Loftus Weiss, he was raised in Ames, Iowa, and from a young age was a high-energy person with a strong work ethic. Peter graduated from Iowa State University with a BA in Architecture in 1973, followed by graduate degrees from the University of Arizona (1976) and Cornell University (1980). He then earned Registered Architect status in 1981 in New York State. Peter met his wife, Margaret (Peg) Sumner, while they were both students at Iowa State University. They were wed in July of 1971, and enjoyed 48 years of marriage. Peter and his family moved to Auburn, Alabama, in 1983, where Peter became a professor in the College of Architecture, Department of Building Science, at Auburn University. He taught classes in structural design from 1983 until his retirement in 2016. Peter had a special interest in historic preservation and involved his students in preservation projects across Auburn, Opelika, and Tuskegee. He was the founder and first chairman of the Opelika Historic Preservation Commission (1997 - 2004). In 1999 he received the American Institute of Architects Member Honor Award for the restoration and addition to the historic First Baptist Church in Troy, Alabama. Peter's most creative and rewarding architectural design endeavor was a twenty-year project. He was master architect for SIAS University, an American university near Zhengzhou, China, from the time of its inception in 1998 until his passing. Its unique international environment and education model has attracted students from more than twenty-five countries, and it has grown from 250 students to nearly 30,000 students today. Peter and his friend and colleague, Chaz Martin, have designed and overseen the building of this beautiful and innovative campus that combines elements of East and West into one harmonious environment. Peter was proud to have designed the Veterans Memorial Monument which stands in front of Opelika's City Hall. He was also happy to have served on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Housing Finance Authority for the past several years. He enjoyed singing and was a member of the East Alabama Civic Chorale for many years. He was a long time supporter of the East Alabama Arts Association and looked forward to each year's line-up of performances. Peter and Peg had great fun during their marriage designing, renovating, and building several homes for their family. Together they cheered on their children in after-school activities and spent hours of family fun at museums and out in nature. In the last few years they have had the pleasure of doing the same with their two grandchildren. Friends were also an important part of Peter's life, and with them, he and Peg enjoyed good food, good wine, Auburn sporting events, and traveling in the States and abroad. Peter was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters Patricia Temple and Jennifer Weiss. Peter is survived by his wife, Peg; children, Aaron (Jessica) and Katharine; grandchildren, Russell and Laila; siblings William John Weiss Jr. (Dee Ann), David Weiss, and Marjorie Berg (Rick); in-laws Marcia Robertson (Doug), Rick Sumner (Judy Weik), and Carol Sumner (Carl Schneider); his nieces and nephews and their families, and many close friends. In the hope that he could continue helping others, Peter has made a gift of his body to the Anatomical Donor Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. No public service will be held. Friends are invited to visit with the family on Monday, December 2, from 4:00-7:00 pm at Peter and Peg's home in Auburn. Memorial gifts may be made to the Food Bank of East Alabama, 375 Industry Drive, Auburn, AL 36832.
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